Shiva doesn't exist without Shakthi. Shiva and shakthi are one. I recently visited a temple of Mother Kali. I was purplexed to see lord shiva in a smiling face is under the feet of angry Mother Kali. What does this signify?


Swami Paramhansa Yogananda says in Paramhansa Yogananda, from The Essence of Self-Realization, Ways in Which God Can be Worshiped:

Kali represents Mother Nature. She is Aum, the cosmic vibration. In Aum everything exists—all matter, all energy, and the thoughts of all conscious beings. Hence, Her garland of heads, to show that She is invisibly present in all minds.

The play of life and death expresses Her activity in Nature: creation, preservation, and destruction. Hence the sword, the head, and a third hand extended, bestowing life.

“Her energy is omnipresent; hence Her streaming hair, representing energy.

Shiva, Her husband, represents God in His vibrationless state, beyond creation. Thus, He is depicted as supine.

Basically that Kali being the Shakti, creates, preserves and liberates the Universe. All this She does on behalf (because they are both One) of Lord Shiva, who is the vibrationless, Nirguna Brahman, motionless, undescribable, bliss and without attributes. Thus Shiva lays motionless and smiling in bliss, while God Kali performs the acts on His behalf.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa says in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna – (page 271 – 2):

Whatever you perceive in the universe is the outcome of the union of Purusha and Prakriti. Take the image of Shiva and Kali.

Kali stands on the bosom of Shiva; Shiva lies under Her feet like a corpse; Kali looks at Shiva. All this denotes the union of Purusha and Prakriti.

Purusha is inactive; therefore Shiva lies on the ground like a corpse.

Prakriti performs all Her activities in conjunction with Purusha. Thus She creates, preserves, and destroys.

Thus Kali represents the vibration or Aum which is responsible for creation, preservation and liberation, while Shiva is the absolute.

This does not mean that Kali is not Nirguna or that Lord Shiva is not Saguna. This is the symbolism with which one can understand this particular depiction of the Gods. Each depiction can have multiple interpretations and multiple meanings. All Gods are One. The one manifests itself in various forms.

Upanishad statements on Truth/Brahman/GOd-realization

Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti (Rig Veda (1.164.46))

The Reality (Truth) is one: the wise call It by various names.

Sarvam khalvidam brahma. (Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1)

All this is Brahman

  • I have read from one of the links that you have provided @ "Kali’s tongue is protruding not in blood-lust as most people believe, but because in India, when a person makes a mistake, he sticks out his tongue. In the West, don’t you express embarrassment somewhat similarly? You put your hands to your mouth." I still feel there must be something more significant than this. – mahakal8 Dec 26 '14 at 7:49
  • @sairam01 Thank u sir! :) well 'something more significant than this' is simply subjective because what one derives great significance from another person may discard at times. However they description by the great saint Paramhansa Yogananda was comprehensive since it went through every single aspect of the symbols. I'm sure there may be other interpretations as well. Either way did you read through the entire link because Yogananda explains it that divine mother kali dances over all of creation but once she steps on the Infinite Shiva the game is over creation is done thus the tongue out sir. – Sai Dec 26 '14 at 13:57
  • Mother Kali's tongue is out to lick up the world. It is red with blood. She is both the creator and destroyer of the world. – Swami Vishwananda Dec 27 '14 at 8:54
  • @SwamiVishwananda thanks for that interpretation Swamiji :)! Always love reading your comments and answers which are un-biased and always leave the user open-minded about Hinduism and God with your ideas :). Thank you – Sai Dec 29 '14 at 3:56

The story is like that once upon a time Devi Kali got very angry from devils and start killing everyone. No one was able stop her who is source of energy and power. Only Lord Shiva knows how to stop her. He is husband of Devi Shakti and Devi Kali is a form of Devi Shakti so she would also behave like a wife of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva lay down on the way of Devi kali and once she putted her feet on him realize that its totally wrong and she went calm.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.


I am quoting this from my article-

"She is usually depicted as having one of her legs on the chest of Lord Shiva who lies on the ground in a static state. This represents the Purusha-Prakriti aspect of Samkhya. Shiva is static absolute Brahman, Kali is the power of this Brahman to have motion. Therefore, Shiva is lying without movement and Kali is standing or dancing on him.

In some depictions, especially with respect to forms like Chinnamasta, the Shakti is shown as being in a sexual union with Shiva who is lying static on the ground. The imagery is a direct depiction of the cosmic union of Purusha and Prakriti. The fact that Brahman and his power are non-different is being depicted in this imagery. The sexual union being the physical imitation of the cosmic union, the imagery aims to highlight the comic and spiritual union through sexual union. Further, in certain tantrika sadhanas (tantrika practices), the sexual energy is used to attain a spiritual union."

You can read the whole article here- "Why the West does not understand Kali"-http://www.newsgram.com/22503/


Goddess Parvati/Kaali represents dynamic Prakriti while Lord Shiva is the static Purusha, and both are inseparable reality of consciousness and energy

The word Shiva means something that is immobile, static and Ling means Column. Infact, english words like “Long/Line/Alone/Tongue” comes from the Sanskrit word “Ling” and means something column like and One and in the center which is human spinal cord(a column) in simple words and present in every living being even plants. English words like “Hub/Hive” comes from Sanskrit word “Shiva” and means something at center and Supreme.

enter image description here

Shivling = unmanifested Consciousness

Shakti/coiled serpent= manifested consciousness

Ramakrishna Paramhabs regarded the Supreme Being to be both Personal and Impersonal, active and inactive:

When I think of the Supreme Being as inactive - neither creating nor preserving nor destroying - I call Him Brahman or Purusha, the Impersonal God. When I think of Him as active - creating, preserving and destroying - I call Him Sakti/Kali or Maya or Prakriti, the Personal God. But the distinction between them does not mean a difference. The Personal and Impersonal are the same thing, like milk and its whiteness, the diamond and its lustre, the snake and its wriggling motion. It is impossible to conceive of the one without the other. The Divine Mother and Brahman are one. Kabir used to say: 'God with form is my Mother, the formless God my Father. Whom should I blame? Whom should I adore? The two sides of the scales are even.' During the day-time Haladhari used to meditate on God with form, and at night on the formless God. Whichever attitude you adopt, you will certainly realize God if you have firm faith. You may believe in God with form or in God without form, but your faith must be sincere and whole-hearted."

Saundarya Lahari

This depicts the Supreme Reality as non-dual but with a distinction between Shiva and Shakti, the power holder and Power, Being and Will. The Power, that is, the Mother or Maha Tripura Sundari, becomes the dominant factor and the power holder or Shiva becomes a substratum. The first verse itself clearly describes this idea. “United with Shakti, Shiva is endowed with power to create; or otherwise, he is incapable of even a movement.”

The Paris congress

The Swami said that the worship of the Shiva-Linga originated from the famous hymn in the Atharva-Veda Samhitâ sung in praise of the Yupa-Stambha, the sacrificial post. In that hymn a description is found of the beginningless and endless Stambha or Skambha, and it is shown that the said Skambha is put in place of the eternal Brahman.

At Macro level it represents, a column(shivlingam) called Solar system

enter image description here

Sun = Shiva

Planets/Earth with life = Shakti/Parvati

At micro level

enter image description here

Shiva = Nucleus(Protons+Neutrons)

Shakti/Kaali = Electrons

At consciousness, soul level, it is spinal chord/(shivlingam) with 7 chakras

enter image description here

Shiva = Sahasrara Chakra

Shakti/Kaali = 6 Chakras(Three Gun mayi Maya)

Satva+Rajas+Tamas = Parvati/Shakti

Shiva+Shakti = shivlingam

At galaxy level

enter image description here

enter image description here

Sadashiva(forever static) = Super-massive Black hole at centre of milky way

Shakti/Parvati= infinite stars/suns and their solar systems.



  • Thanks so much for showing a photograph of Sadashiva!! As ill luck would have it: no photo of Shiva and Kali:( – user17294 Apr 22 at 4:13
  • @commonman Every man on earth is a image of Shiva himself and every woman is an image of Kaali. Look carefully and you will understand it. Soul has no physical shape, physical human body is of only two variation, one of Shiva/the man and other of Kaali/the woman, only ego is there, that "I am this body(man or woman)" – Manu Kumar Apr 22 at 16:16

One day the demon Raktbeej was fighting with the Gods with his armies. The Gods were can't fight with Raktbeej. Goddess Parvati was very angry and she was transformed into her incarnation Kali. Goddess Kali was the Goddess of ghosts. Raktbeej was fighting with Kali. She was trying to kill Raktbeej with her weapon but when Raktbeej's blood was falling,it was transformed into another Raktbeej. Kali was eating Raktbeej's blood. She was too much angry and she was also trying to destroy the Earth. Kali killed Raktbeej and she was wearing many Raktbeej's heads. Suddenly Kali saw she was standing on Lord Shiva his husband. She opened her tongue because she was standing on her husband and also she was feeling shame. Kali became calm and she was transformed into Goddess Parvati.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • 1
    You should cite sources. – Kedarnath Mar 20 '15 at 7:16

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